Swimming Along Nicely After Rotator Cuff Repair
My name is Frank, and while I don't normally admit it, I'm over 60 years old (or young, as the case may be). Swimming has been my main athletic activity–I usually swim more than 200 miles per year. Beginning about six years ago, I started to experience discomfort and varying degrees of pain in my left shoulder, which was treated intermittently with cortisone injections, physical therapy, acupuncture, prescription/non-prescription medication, as well as reducing or discontinuing swimming. In June of 2010, Dr. Cole performed a rotator cuff repair and biceps tenodesis on my left shoulder, after which I followed a lengthy course of physical therapy with Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. The results have been little short of phenomenal, and I am very grateful to Dr. Cole and the staff of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush for my recovery and the greatly increased quality of life that I am now experiencing. I'm attaching photos taken in late November of 2010 when I began swimming again.
I have several suggestions for anyone who decides to have the kind of orthopaedic surgery I had: (i) Follow Dr. Cole's pre- and post-operative instructions scrupulously–he can do miraculous surgery, but it's the patient's responsibility to assure that follow-on care and physical therapy occur as prescribed–they are essential for a proper recovery; (ii) Do not expect too much too soon after surgery–slow, steady, incremental rehab efforts over a several-month period will be required; (iii) Be patient and expect some degree of residual pain or discomfort during the recovery period–that will subside, but it may take several months; (iv) Hang in there and don't give up—you'll be as enthusiastic about the result of Dr. Cole's efforts as I am!